Monday, June 02, 2008

Mother's Blessing

(and a review of the weekend)

This is what we did Friday night. On Saturday, I went to a baby shower and then to a mother's blessing (sometimes referred to as a blessing way).

It's interesting how two activities that celebrate the same event in a woman's life can be so different. The baby shower was sprinkled with the regular phrases, "I'm going with drugs all the way," and, "I don't think I'd want to be pregnant- it looks so uncomfortable" where you could tell the most of the women there were afraid. The blessingway was exactly the opposite of that.

Since I'm sure most of you know what a baby shower is like, I'll describe the mother's blessing. (The baby shower was your typical getting cute clothes and such party.)

First, I am told that the reason we called it a mother's blessing is because the Navajo Indians use "Blessing Way" to refer to a sacred ceremony and they would rather we not use the term for our Americanized knock-off version.

This was the first mother's blessing I've been to and it was for L. L has two kids already- I believe they were both homebirths with a midwife, though I don't know for sure. This one will be a UC.

It started with a meal and the usual chatting that women do: talking about their children, pregnancy, breastfeeding, extended breastfeeding, AP, vaccinations, cloth diapers, organic recipes, etc. I love these women. They are some of the few women I know that I can converse with freely and not have to defend myself.

Then a fire was started and we made s'mores. While eating our s'mores, we wrote down birth affirmations for L. L had a list of her birthing and mothering fears and we all went to the fire pit.L read her fears, tore up the paper and threw the pieces into the fire. Then we went around the circle and read the affirmations we wrote down for her. It was so great!

As it was getting dark at this point, we went inside and talked some more while doing some henna tattoos. L's belly was gorgeous! I got a henna tattoo on my hand and considered giving Margaret a henna tattoo, except that she's so wiggly and it would smudge.

The part that is smudged on my wrist was the part that Margaret drooled on before it dried. Margaret has a little spot of henna on her hand where she pushed her hand on my wrist after drooling.

This is my favorite part of the blessingway:
As I went to leave, I gave L a hug and told her that she can "totally do it." She smiled and said, "This birth is going to be great. My other two births were great and this one will be great, too." It is SO refreshing to hear a pregnant woman be so sure and positive about her upcoming birth. That is what it should always be like.

I didn't get a mother's blessing for Margaret's birth (everyone was sick because it was winter and it didn't get planned), but for my next birth, I totally want one. I love the henna idea (we can outline the stretch marks on my belly- they look like flames!), and I think I'll want fingerpaints there for birth art.

Happy birthing vibes to all the pregnant women out there!


  1. That's so cool! I totally know what you mean about hearing only doom and gloom about birth...I am SOO excited to have this baby, and I imagine it will be an amazing and wonderful experience. Why wouldn't it be? Now if only I could get my hands on some s'mores....

  2. What a wonderful experience. I REALLY wanted to do a blessing way before my baby was born-- just with my sisters, grandma and mom and mom-in-law, but it didn't quite pull together-- everyone was too far apart. I loved hearing how this one went. The idea I liked best for blessing ways (and that we were going to do) was to give each woman who attended a candle and set up a phone tree so that when the mom went into labor the first lady would light her candle and say a prayer for the mom and then call the next lady on the list who would light her candle and say a prayer.. etc.. etc..

  3. great post. i found your blog looking for ideas for the mother of all mother's blessing i am throwing. it is to honor my best friend who is pregnant with her 5th and she's so crafty. i have done blessings before but you can imagine that this is a bit intimidating. Thanks for your recap!


Please review my blog comment policy here before commenting. You may not use the name "Anonymous." You must use a Google Account, OpenID, or type in a name in the OpenID option. You can make one up if you need to. Even if your comment is productive and adding to the conversation, I will not publish it if it is anonymous.